We have really been enjoying our turkey poults this spring. “What’s a poult,” you ask? Well, that’s what you call a baby turkey! I can see why it’s confusing. Baby chickens are chicks, baby ducks are ducklings, so shouldn’t it follow that baby turkeys are turks? But they’re not. They’re poults.
They’ve been enjoying being out on the grass and in the sunshine. Currently, we have them in a portable coop and yard, but they are being naughty birds and hopping through the fence panels. Fortunately they don’t go far once they get out, but we are looking forward to them being too big to fit through those openings, because they are quick little buggers when you are trying to chase them down and put them back safely in the pen!
We are raising four different heritage breeds: Bourbon Red, Standard Bronze, Blue Slate, and Chocolate. We’re going to be processing most of the birds for Thanksgiving, but we are planning to keep some breeding pairs here so that we can hatch out our own eggs for more poults next Spring. Our choices in breeds were determined not only by the appeal of helping to protect these from extinction (it may seem counterintuitive, but as it pertains to livestock, raising the breed for food is what helps keep it popular and therefore in existence) but also because the Bourbon Red and Standard Bronze breeds are amongst the highest rated for flavor, according to Bon Appetit and the New York Times. We’ve also had personal recommendations for both breeds by fellow farmers and a chef. The Chocolate breed also holds appeal because of the size of the bird – they yield more meat than most heritage breeds. The Blue Slates, well, I’m not going to lie: I got those because they look pretty!
They’re also very amusing. The toms are really starting to do the “poof out and strut” thing, which is cracking us up. I also enjoy doing a sort of call-and-respond exercise with them, which you can see in the video below.
If you are interested in reserving a bird for Thanksgiving, please get in touch. Heritage breed, organic pasture raised turkey will be available at $6.00/lb, and will range in size from about 14-33 pounds, depending on breed and individual bird.